Czech Republic (5-0) defeated Netherlands (3-2) 17-6 in the first round of the championship bracket to set up a date with USA in the quarterfinals on Wednesday night. Netherlands will move to the 5th place bracket and play the loser of Israel and England/Finland.
It was a game of two halves as a things were much more defensive heavy and evenly matched in the first half than in the second half. The superior experience and skill level of the Czech Republic really showed in the second half as they were able to run away with things early in the third and gave Netherlands a very hard time even getting into the offensive zone.
Czech Republic got things going with two early goals from Vojtech Oulehla and Pavel Dosly. While Netherlands was unable to find the back of the net in the first they were able to hold Czech Republic to just two goals, playing great defense and relying heavily on goalie Andrew Gallant.
That defensive battle continued for much of the second quarter, as well, with Czech Republic goaltender Pete Dubenski and Netherlands goaltender Andrew Gallant getting hot early on. Finally, with just over five minutes in the quarter, Petr Poupe scored for Czech Republic and Richard Hann got Netherlands on the board just seconds later.
While Netherlands was able to get their offense going late in the second quarter, Czech Republic was always there to answer and seemed to be one step ahead at all times. Heading into the half, Czech Republic held a 7-2 lead.
While Ross Parsons got the scoring started right out of the gate for Netherlands in the third, Czech Republic answered right back with Petr Poupe scoring just seconds later. Poupe’s goal was the start of a five-goal run that put Czech Republic up 12-3 midway through the third.
Ross Parsons and Rhys Parsons did score late in the third for Netherlands to give them a little momentum, but Czech Republic took a commanding 15-5 lead into the fourth. Each side found the back of the net at least once more in the fourth as Czech Republic walked away with the 17-6 victory.